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David Parsons has enjoyed a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer of dance. His work has been enthusiastically embraced by audiences, presenters and critics the world over.
Mr. Parsons was born in Illinois and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. From 1978-1987, Mr. Parsons was a leading dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Mr. Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look and Roses. Companies with which he has made guest appearances include the New York City Ballet, the Berlin Opera, MOMIX, and the White Oak Dance Project. Mr. Parsons founded the company which bears his name with lighting designer, Howell Binkley in 1987.
As Artistic Director, Mr. Parsons has created over 60 works on The Parsons Dance Company, having received commissions over the years from eminent presenters such as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Hancher Auditorium/University of Iowa, the Spoleto Festival, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Het Muziektheater, Dance Theater Workshop and the American Dance Festival. He has also choreographed works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and National Ballet of Canada among others. The list of companies that have performed his works includes Paris Opera Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY, Netherlands Danse Theater, English National Ballet, Ballet National de Nancy, Hubbard Street Dance Company, BatSheva Dance Company of Israel, among many others.
Mr. Parsons’ works have been featured extensively on television. Caught, Mr. Parsons’ signature work, was televised on Alive From Off Center in 1987. Mr. Parsons has been a featured dancer on PBS’ Dance in America, having performed in three programs with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and one with New York City Ballet. In 1992, Mr. Parsons collaborated with Julie Taymor and designer Michael Curry on a film project called Fools’ Fire. In 1995, 1989 and 1988, Mr. Parsons received Choreography Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has lectured at numerous locations, including Harvard University, The Yale Club and the Columbia University Business School.
Mr. Parsons choreographed and directed the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the festivities in Times Square for 24 hours celebrating the turn of the Millennium, which was watched by billions of people all over the globe. Mr. Parsons was a recipient of the Dance Magazine Award for the year 2000. In 2001, Mr. Parsons served as a director/choreographer for AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation. Also in 2001, Mr. Parsons was appointed the Artistic Director of Dance for the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy.